Large sliding doors can be an attractive and functional addition to your home. They fill your home with light, add to a feeling of openness, and provide easy access to outdoor spaces.

However, these perks comes with a price. Having such an entryway into a residence brings with it the chance of water seeping in. In fact, sliding doors are one of the most common causes of water damage in a home.

How Sliding Doors Can Lead to Water Damage

(JamesDeMers / pixabay)

Below, we list the ways your sliding doors can lead to water damage and the things you can do to prevent this catastrophe from happening.

Leakage Around the Door

The most obvious source of water damage is leakage. Improper or incomplete sealing around the door can result in leaks or build-up of water. Water can build up in the wall cavity or the door frame. From here, it will seep into your house and rot away at your walls or floors.

This can also be caused by your sliding door not fitting into the frame properly. If your frame is not measured correctly or is incorrectly aligned, gaps can form into which water could leak.

Often, this is the result of inexperienced or unprofessional installation. Always seek professionals when having sliding doors installed, as they will ensure that all doors fit correctly.

Clogged-Up Weep Holes

On either end of your sliding door’s track will be a series of small holes bored into the frame. These are known as Weep Holes and are designed to help drain water from the track and stop it from building up.

Naturally, in time, these Weep Holes will become clogged by dust, dirt, and other debris that can get in from outside. If this happens, the water will have nowhere to drain and leak into your home and begin to cause damage. Thankfully, this can be easily handled.

Every week or two, open your sliding door to its fullest and clean the Weep Holes with a pipe cleaner or stiff wire. This will clear any blockages that may occur and allow the water to flow out. If this has no effect, it may be worthwhile to carefully drill a few extra Weep Holes to increase the possible flow options.

Cracked Panes or Twisted Rollers

With time and use will come damage. Cracks will inevitably appear in the glass of your sliding doors. Equally likely, debris or rough handling can cause the runners or frame to become twisted or warped. When this happens, gaps will grow, and seals will not form, allowing water to enter.

These are both easily fixed by having a professional come to replace the cracked and warped parts. Don’t try to sort them out yourself. Any attempts to bash or bend warped rails into place are likely to cause further warping and worsen the damage.

Absence Of a Drip Edge

A drip edge is a small ledge that overhangs the threshold of the door. Its purpose is to allow water that runs down the door to slide off and away from the house. If your sliding door does not have a drip edge, any water that runs down it will gather in the sill. This will allow it to seep into the runner and into your house.

By getting a drip edge installed, you will be preventing the larger volume of water runoff from seeping back in. It is a simple yet effective mode of preventing water damage and can be installed easily.

Too High Patio or Deck

Most people have sliding doors as easy access to a beautiful patio or deck. They make a wonderful entrance to these outdoor additions, but they can contribute to water issues.

Depending on the level of your outdoor structures, they may cause water build-up. If your patio is directly against your house and higher than your door’s threshold, this will cause similar issues to those above. Additionally, if your patio or deck has no drainage areas, this will also cause water to build up against your house and seep inside.

Ensuring your patio or deck has drain channels, or is below the level of your sliding door, will make sure that this does not become a cause for water damage.

Worn or Flaking Caulking

Caulk’s primary function is to provide a seal to prevent water seepage. As time and weather wear on, the sealant you have around your door frame will weaken. As caulk ages, it will flake or break out of the gaps it seals, creating entry points for water or moisture.

Repairing this is a simple task that can be done without hiring help. Caulk can be replaced easily with a gun bought from any hardware store. In particular, remember to check the tops of your door frame, as these tend to wear quickest. Also, be sure to check for any larger gaps forming around the door frame and have these filled, too.

Frequent Opening and Closing

It may seem too obvious, but each time you open your sliding door, you allow more water in, letting it damage your home.

In wetter months, try to avoid opening your door too wide to minimize the amount of water that can get in. Also, an absorbent doormat will collect any water that does come in for easy removal. So long as the water is not left to seep into your flooring or walls, it cannot take hold to cause damage. Make sure you wring out or replace your mats regularly.

The Takeaway….

Sliding doors are a wonderful addition to a house but a major cause of many issues that can lead to water damage. So long as you are careful and attentive, you can easily mitigate this risk and keep your house safe and dry.

Saw this post late and already experienced water damage? Get in touch with us for water damage restoration/flood cleanup in Ogden, Kaysville, Layton, Bountiful, and beyond. Our team of experts will arrive at your home to evaluate the damage and start the repair immediately. We have the equipment and specialists to generate the best results from even the worst damage.